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South Carolina Fishing Reports

About South Carolina Fishing

Many a fisherman has noted that, for its size, the bream fights harder than almost any other fish.  If a bluegill or shellcracker reached the size of, for example, a blue catfish it's hard to imagine the epic battles that would unfold between man and beast.   In a similar vein, South Carolina may be only be the 40th largest state in the Union - but it punches well above its weight in the diversity and quality of its fisheries.  We may be a little biased, because the Palmetto State is our home, but we would rate the wide variety of lakes, rivers, and saltwater fisheries in our state as being as good or better than what any other state has to offer.

Sure, Alaska has salmon.  And Florida has snook.  But in how many states can you fish for trout on a beautiful mountain stream or deep, clear Lake Jocassee in the morning - and then head a couple of hours down the road and go after a 50 plus pound striped bass on a massive reservoir like Clarks Hill in the afternoon?  And then head a little over an hour east to a highland reservoir like Lake Murray, to enjoy the nationally renowned bass fishing lake which has played host to multiple championship level tournaments?  And then drive another hour and a bit down the road to the swampy headwaters of the world famous Santee Cooper lakes where you can fish for giant bass, world record catfish and more amongst the cypress trees and alligators?  And then pop less than an hour down the road to Charleston for some premier inshore fishing with world class redfish action - or head offshore for tuna, wahoo, dolphin, and even a billfish?

If that sounds like a lot of excitement, and it is, take a moment to imagine what you missed on this whirlwind tour!  You missed Lake Hartwell and Lake Wylie, host to top bass tournaments including the Bassmaster Classic, and multiple smaller lakes with lesser names but sometimes even better fisheries such as Lake Greenwood, Lake Russell, Lake Wateree, and Lake Monticello - where the next world record blue catfish and a state record largemouth just might be swimming.  And you also missed top inshore and offshore fishing action at such popular tourist destinations as the Grand Strand (Myrtle Beach area) and Hilton Head Island - and quieter local gems such as Edisto Island and Beaufort. 

From the mountains to the sea, South Carolina is a fisherman's paradise and has earned its reputation as a premier fishing destination.

With temperatures expected to reach 80 this weekend, after a long, cold and wet winter, it will be interesting to see how the fish react tochanging conditions.  There are a full line-up of tournaments, including multiples CATTs, an ABA event, several clubs tournaments and more.  But this weekend we are featuring one of the two Fishers of Men events - this one on Santee.  Let's see if another 30-pound bag can come out of Santee! Closest guess to the winning weight in the comments here wins a $30.00 gift certificate to Angler's Headquarters.  Bonus: guess the winning bag and big fish weight and win a $500.00 gift certificate to the store.  Deadline is 7:00 a.m. Saturday, February 27.   
  • by Jay

February 26

Lake Jocassee is down to 94.7% of full pool and surface water temperatures are around 51-52 degrees. Clarity is normal.

It seems the full moon has thrown off the daytime trout bite the last few days on Lake Jocassee, and Guide Sam Jones (864-280-9056) reports

  • by Jay

February 26

Lake Monticello surface water temperatures have shot up to about 57 degrees, and on the lower end there has been some water as warm as 62. The lake is pretty stained, probably as a result of muddy water being pumped in from the river. 

Because of the unique dynamics of the lake water temperatures are running warmer on Lake Monticello than other South Carolina lakes, and tournament angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports

  • by Jay

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